~Eratkan Ukhuwah Gerakkan Islah~


~ Thursday, March 30, 2006

History of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt by Wikipedia, US

In 1928, six Egyptian workers employed by British military camps in Isma'iliyya, in the Suez Canal Zone in Egypt, visited Hassan al-Banna, a young schoolteacher who they had heard preach in mosques and coffee-houses on the need for an Islamic rewnewal. "Arabs and Muslims have no status and no dignity," they said. "They are no more than mere hirelings belonging to the foreigners.... We are unable to perceive the road to action as you perceive it...." They therefore asked him to become their leader; he accepted, founding the Society of the Muslim Brothers. (Mitchell 1969, 8; Lia 1998, 36; Carre 1983, 11)History of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt (1928-1938)

Early Development

In 1928, six Egyptian workers employed by British military camps in Isma'iliyya, in the Suez Canal Zone in Egypt, visited Hassan al-Banna, a young schoolteacher who they had heard preach in mosques and coffee-houses on the need for an Islamic rewnewal. "Arabs and Muslims have no status and no dignity," they said. "They are no more than mere hirelings belonging to the foreigners.... We are unable to perceive the road to action as you perceive it...." They therefore asked him to become their leader; he accepted, founding the Society of the Muslim Brothers. (Mitchell 1969, 8; Lia 1998, 36; Carré 1983, 11)

Banna and his followers began by starting an evening school. In its first few years, the Society was focused on Islamic education, with an emphasis on teaching students how to implement an ethos of solidarity and altruism in their daily lives, rather than on theoretical issues. The General Inspector of Education was greatly impressed, particularly by the eloquent speeches of the working-class members of the Brotherhood. Banna's deputy was a carpenter, and the appointment of people from the lower classes to leading positions became a hallmark of the Brotherhood. (Lia 1998, 39)

The Society's first major project was the construction of a mosque, completed in 1931, for which it managed to raise a large amount of money while carefully maintaining its independence from potentially self-interested donors. In the same year, the Society began to receive favourable attention in the press, and a Cairo branch was founded. (Lia 1998, 40-42)

In 1932, Banna was transferred to Cairo at his request, and the organisation's headquarters were moved there. In addition to handling the administration of the Society, Banna gave evening lectures on the Qur'an for "the poor of the district around the headquarters who were 'without learning and without the will for it'". (Mitchell 1969, 10-12)

Over the next decade, the Society grew very rapidly. From three branches in 1931, it grew to have 300 across Egypt in 1938; thanks to an unorthodox ideology with mass appeal, and to effective strategies for attracting new members, it had become a major political opposition group with a highly diverse membership. (Lia 1998, 53, 152, 154; Mitchell 12-13; Carré 1983, 21)

Ideological Innovations

The Brotherhood initially resembled an ordinary Islamic welfare society. In the early 1930s, its welfare activities included small-scale social work among the poor, building and repairing mosques and establishing a number of Qur'an schools (whose role in teaching children to read and write was important in country where 80% of the population was illiterate), setting up small workshops and factories, and organising the collection and distribution of zakat (the Islamic alms tax). As the Society grew, it increasingly founded benevolent institutions such as pharmacies, hospitals and clinics for the general public, and launched a program to teach adults to read and write by offering courses in coffee-shops and clubs. (Lia 1998, 109-111)

However, Banna's vision of a new sort of organisation, capable of renewing broken links between tradition and modernity, enabled the Brotherhood to gain a degree of popularity and influence that no welfare society enjoyed. He observed that, in the midst of a flourishing Egyptian civil society and a cultural environment marked by innovations in literature, science and education, religious education had been left behind: the ideas of Islamic religious reformers were not made accessible to the general public, and there was no serious effort to make the history and teachings of Islam comprehensible to the young. He was determined to fill this gap by training a cadre of young, highly motivated preachers equipped with modern teaching methods, independent from the government and the religious establishment, and supported by an effective use of the new mass media. (Lia 53-57)

The Brotherhood's second General Conference, in 1933, authorised the creation of a publishing company and the purchase of a printing press, which was used to print several newspapers during the next decade. Funds were raised by creating a joint stock company in which only members were allowed to buy shares. This approach, which protected the Society's independence from government and from the wealthy by ensuring that its institutions were owned by its members, became its standard means of financing new projects. (Lia 1998, 97-98)

During the 1930s, Banna formulated, and the Society began to put into practice, an Islamic ideology that was unusual in several respects. It was, first of all, an ideology of disenfranchised classes. In a country where most political movements, including liberal and modernist ones, were products of the landed aristocracy and the urban elite, the Brotherhood became the voice of the educated middle and lower middle classes (and to a lesser extent of workers and peasants) and the means by which they demanded political participation. Throughout the decade, the Society placed increasing emphasis on social justice; closing the gap between the classes (and thus restoring the egalitarianism of the early Muslims) became one of its main objectives, and Banna voiced ever stronger criticisms of the upper class and the class system as a whole:

Islam is equal for all people and prefers nobody to others on the grounds of differences in blood or race, forefathers or descent, poverty or wealth. According to Islam everyone is equal... However, in deeds and natural gifts, then the answer is yes. The learned is above the ignorant... Thus, we see that Islam does not approve of the class system.

As this ideology took shape over the next two decades, in the absence of a strong socialist party, the Brotherhood called for nationalisation of industries, substantial state intervention in the economy, a greatly reduced maximum wage for senior civil servants, laws to protect workers against exploitation, an Islamic banking system to provide interest-free loans, and generous social welfare programmes, including unemployment benefits, public housing and ambitious health and literacy programmes, funded by higher taxes on the wealthy. By 1948 the Brotherhood was advocating land reform to enable small farmers to own land. (Lia 1998, 73-74, 81-82, 206-211; Carre 1983, 45-47)

Secondly, Banna's ideology was an attempt to bringing about social renewal through a modern interpration of Islam. In his view, Egypt was torn between two failed value systems: on the one hand, a doctrinaire religious traditionalism (represented by Al-Azhar University), which Banna saw as anachronistic and irrelevant to the urgent problems faced by ordinary people, and on the other hand, an abandonment of all moral values and an economic free-for-all that impoverished the masses and enabled foreign interests to take control of the economy. He argued that Islam should not be confined to the narrow domain of private life, but should rather be applied to the problems of the modern world, and used as the moral foundation of a national renaissance, a thoroughgoing reform of political, economic and social systems. (Lia 1998, 74-77, 224)

The Brotherhood has sometimes been incorrectly described as advocating a blanket rejection of everything Western; in reality, Banna did not hesitate to draw on Western as well as Islamic thought in the pursuit of this modern approach to Islam, using quotations from authors such as René Descartes, Isaac Newton and Herbert Spencer to support his own arguments. He proposed to send Brotherhood journalists to study journalism at the American University in Cairo, and suggested that another group of Brothers attend the School of Social Service, another Western school: "its scientific and practical programme will greatly facilitate the training [of the Brothers] in social welfare works". He was in favour of the teaching of foreign languages in schools: "We need to drink from the springs of foreign culture to extract what is indispensable for our renaissance." His formulation of the concept of nationalism, which was fundamental to the Brotherhood's appeal to young people, combined modern European political concepts with Islamic ones. At the same time, Banna and the Brotherhood decried what they saw as their compatriots' slavish adoration of everything Western and their loss of respect for their own culture and history. (Lia 1998, 76-79)

Banna's concept of nationalism was emphatically Islamic, and its long-term goal was to see all humanity united by the Muslim faith. However, the Society had no clear definition of the sort of political system it wished for. The idea of reviving the Islamic caliphate (which had been abolished by Kemal Atatürk in 1924) was sometimes mentioned in the Brotherhood's publications, but Banna was not in favour of it. Some critics have argued that the Society's ambitions amounted to a kind of fascism, but Banna explicitly rejected the aggressive militarism that rose to power in Germany and Italy in the 1930s, as well as all secular nationalisms (both Arab and European), and condemned racial differentiations as incompatible with Islam. The chief practical consequence of the Brotherhood's Islamic nationalism was an energetic campaign against colonialism in Egypt and other Islamic countries; this was one of the main reasons for the Society's popularity. (Lia 1998, 79-81, 167; Mitchell 1969, 37-42; Carré 1983, 36-43)

The term jihad was a key concept in the Brotherhood's vocabulary: it referred not only to armed struggle to liberate Muslim lands from colonial occupation, but also to the inner effort that Muslims needed to make in order to free themselves from an ingrained inferiority complex and from fatalism and passivity towards their condition. It encompassed the courage to dissent expressed in the maxim "The greatest jihad is to utter a word of truth in the presence of a tyrannical ruler" (a hadith reported by Abu Sa'id al-Khudri) as well as any productive activity that Muslims undertook, on their own initiative, to improve the well-being of the Islamic community. (Lia 1998, 83-84)

In keeping with his call for unity among Muslims, Banna advocated tolerance and goodwill between different forms of Islam. Although the Brotherhood rejected the corruption of some Sufi orders and their excessive glorification of their leaders, a kind of reformed Sufi practice was an important part of the Society's structure. The Society thus tried to bridge the gap between the Salafiyya movement and Sufism, and in the 1940s it tried to promote a rapprochement between Sunni Islam and Shi'a Islam. More generally, the Society insisted that its members must not try to impose their vision of Islam on others. Its General Law of 1934 stated that their actions must always reflect "friendliness and gentleness" and that they were to avoid "bluntness, crudeness and abuses in words or hints". Members who violated these principles (e.g. by pressuring unveiled women to veil themselves) were expelled. (Lia 1998, 82, 85, 114-117)

The Brotherhood's openness to a diversity of Islamic belief and practice represented part of its appeal to young people. Banna deplored the rigid preoccupation of some Salafiyya societies with minor points of religious doctrine; he felt that Sufism and other traditional practices should be welcomed, and that the Brotherhood should focus on basic social and political issues rather than on theological hair-splitting. (Lia 1998, 59-60)

A Political Organisation

In the early 1930s the Brotherhood started its Rover Scouts programme (jawwala), in which groups of young men were trained in athletics and an ascetic way of life, carried out charitable work, and toured branches of the Brotherhood to strengthen ties between them. The Rover Scouts, whose uniforms, banners and hymns attracted a great deal of attention, became an important means of recruiting new members, and Banna saw them as a way of introducing young men gradually to religion. (Lia 1998, 101-102, 167-70)

In 1931-32, the Brotherhood underwent an internal crisis; several members challenged Banna's control over the Society's treasury, his general stubbornness, and his insistence on having someone of low social status, a carpenter, as his deputy. Banna's candidate for deputy was overwhelmingly supported by a vote in the Society's General Assembly, and his offer to pay the Society's considerable outstanding debts further strengthened his position, but the conflict persisted until he threatened to expel his opponents from the Brotherhood, at which point they resigned. While some of their complaints about him were certainly justified, the conflict also reflected a more basic disagreement with his conception of the Brotherhood's mission. The secessionists felt that the Society should simply be a traditional Islamic welfare society that local notables could support, and should therefore have open accounts and socially respectable leaders. (Lia 1998, 60-67)

In the aftermath of this conflict, Banna sought to clarify the basis of leadership in the Society, asserting that moral qualities and personal sacrifice were more important than titles, social standing and formal qualifications. In drafting the Society's General Law in 1934, he increased his own authority over the Brotherhood, insisting that authority within the organisation could only be based on complete confidence in the leadership, rejecting calls for increased consultation (shura) and expressing a deep scepticism towards elections, which he felt had shown their failings during the 1931-32 crisis. He also instituted mediation committees to help defuse conflicts as they arose. (Lia 1998, 69-71)

Banna then began to place more emphasis on the Society's political responsibilities concerning a variety of issues such as prostitution, alcohol, gambling, inadequate religious education in schools, the influence of Christian missionaries and, most importantly, the struggle against imperialism. In response to critics who accused the Brotherhood of being a political group, Banna replied that involvement in politics was part of Islam: "Islam does have a policy embracing the happiness of this world." While other Islamic organisations remained studiously apolitical during the great upheavals that characterised the 20s and 30s in Egypt, the Brotherhood attracted large numbers of young, educated Egyptians, particularly students, by encouraging and supporting them in campaigning for political causes. (Lia 1998, 57-58, 67-69, 183-184)

The Brotherhood's first foray into active involvement in politics concerned the conflicts in Palestine between Zionism, Arab nationalism and British rule. Like many other Egyptian associations, the Society raised money to support Palestinian workers on strike during the 1936-39 Palestinian revolt, and organised demonstrations and speeches in their favour. The Society also called for a boycott of Jewish shops in Cairo, on the grounds that Egyptian Jews were financing Zionist groups in Palestine. Articles hostile towards Jews (and not merely towards Zionism) appeared in its newspaper, though other articles upheld the distinction between Jews and Zionists. (Mitchell 1969, 15-16; Lia 1998, 236-244)

In the mid-1930s the Brotherhood developed a formal hierarchical structure, with the General Guide (Banna) at the top, assisted by a General Guidance Bureau and a deputy. Local branches were organised into districts, whose administration had a large measure of autonomy. There were different categories of members, with increasing responsibilities: "assistant", "associate", "worker" and "activist". Membership fees depended on the means of each member, and poor members paid no fees. Promotion through the hierarchy depended on the performance of Islamic duties and on knowledge attained in the Society's study groups. This merit-based system was a radical departure from the hierarchies based on social standing that characterised Egyptian society at the time. (Lia 1998, 98-104)

In 1938, Banna came to the conlusion that local conservative notables had gained too much influence in the Society, and that there were too many members with "empty titles" who did little practical work. To solve these problems, he introduced substantial organisational changes over the next few years; henceforth the branches' executive committees were chosen by the General Guidance Bureau rather than elected, and in 1941 the elected General Assembly was replaced by a smaller appointed body called the Consultative Assembly. However, the Society's structure remained decentralised, so that branches could continue to operate if the police arrested leading members. (Lia 1998, 186-192)

Despite Banna's scepticism concerning elections, manifested in their diminishing role within the Brotherhood, he argued for a kind of democracy when he set out his view of the principles underlying a political Islam in 1938:

When one considers the principles that guide the constitutional system of government, one finds that such principles aim to preserve in all its forms the freedom of the individual citizen, to make the rulers accountable for their actions to the people and finally, to delimit the prerogatives of every single authoritative body. It will be clear to everyone that such basic principles correspond perfectly to the teaching of Islam concerning the system of government. For this reason, the Muslim Brothers consider that of all the existing systems of government, the constitutional system is the form that best suits Islam and Muslims.

Such a system would involve elections, but not political parties; Banna rejected party politics, pointing out that the Egyptian political parties of the time were closed off to all but the elites and had become instruments of British imperial rule. (Lia 202-204; Mitchell 1969, 246-250)


Carré, Olivier and Gérard Michaud. 1983. Les Frères musulmans : Egypte et Syrie (1928-1982). Paris: Gallimard.

Lia, Brynjar. 1998. The Society of the Muslim Brothers in Egypt: The Rise of an Islamic Mass Movement 1928-1942. Reading, UK: Garnet. ISBN 0863722202.

Mitchell, Richard P. 1969. The Society of the Muslim Brothers. London: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195084373.

Maa ashobani min hasanatin faminallah...wamaa ashobani min sayyiatin famin nafsi (segala yg baik tu dari Allah dan yg buruk tu dari diriku)

posted by scouser at 6:38 PM


~ Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Muslim Brotherhood Initiatives For Reform in Egypt Ikhwanweb - Cairo, Egypt

The Arab and Muslim worlds currently witness continuous and persistent attempts aiming at imposing a change from the outside. These attempts take the form of force sometimes and strong pressures at other times. We are certain these outside do not, in essence or goals, target real reform for the sake of the people, but rather the continuous hegemony of the united States, its control over the areas destiny and fortunes, the superiority of the Zionist entity that usurped Palestine, in addition to implanting regimes more cooperative in carrying out Washington's general strategy.

We believe in Allah's saying

"Verily Allah will not change the (good) condition of a people as long as they do not change their state (at goodness) themselves (by committing sins and by being ungrateful and disobedient to Allah)."

and we do feel we have a legal and national responsibility.

Carrying out our legal duty, as Allah's Prophet (peace be upon him) said "Spreading good advice is a part and parcel of religion," from the perspective of guiding all people to the right and enlightening the whole world with Islam's principles which are the loftiest goal of our call, as Allah Almighty says,

"O you who believed! Bow down, and prostrate yourselves, and worship your lord and do good that you may be successful. And strive hard in Allah’s cause as you ought to strive (with sincerity and with all your efforts that his name should be superior)."

And he also says:

"I only desire reform to the best of my power"

We believe the goal of call is real and comprehensive reform that we all should cooperate to realize – through constitutional and legal channels – in a bid to apply Allah's Shariah (Islamic legal code) which is best for this world and the Hereafter. Allah says:

"Then we have put you O Muhammed (peace be upon him) on a plain way of (Our) commandment (like the one which we commanded Our Messengers before you) (I.e. legal ways and laws of the Islamic Monotheism) So follow you that (Islamic Monotheism and its laws) and follow not the desires of those who know not. (Tafsir At-Tabari) ."

We should, in the beginning, stress some points very clearly.


Muslim Brotherhood rejects all of foreign hegemony and denounce all types of foreign interference in Egypt's affairs or those of the Islamic and Arabic regions.


Comprehensive reform is an Islamic and a national demand. Peoples are basically the party concerned with taking the initiative to carry out the kind of reform that aims to achieve their hopes for a dignified, free life, a comprehensive development, freedom, justice, equality and Shura.


The beginning should be political reform which is the starting point to reform the rest of all life walks which witness a speedy decline almost hitting the bottom line in Egypt and Arab as well as Islamic worlds.


Pioneering such a reform is a task too big to be handled by a government or any individual political power. It's rather a burden for all to shoulder. General national reconciliation that leads to gathering all efforts is the duty of this time, not just for standing up to the plots against the area, but also for getting up from our fall, curing our illnesses and reaching the hoped for development and modernization. The destructive trio of this nation - political stagnation, corruption and social injustice, in addition to scientific and technological backwardness- threatens Egypt's national security, its national standing, Islamic pioneering role and its world role.

Due to official negligence of the national demands presented by the Muslim Brotherhood, along with all national powers, since 1987 so far in more than a document and a paper... in addition, reform doses by the successive governments are so slow that the reform march has been largely delayed during the last decade.

In line with the nation's rejection of any attempt to interfere with our affairs or to temper with our faith or to attack our cultural identity, the Muslim Brotherhood thought they should com forward with this initiative...neither to show off before any foreign or local power nor to embarrass any front – but rather to push a danger threatening the nation and to contribute to reform. This stems from the Muslim Brotherhood's belief in how huge this task is and that it needs all efforts of the loyal sons of nation.

In presenting this initiative to all Egyptians – people, political parties, national powers and government- the Muslim Brotherhood hopes it will be met with due interest, be discussed and talked over by all. This way, such a comprehensive vision of reform may be enriched; cooperation among the sons of the nation may rise up to its ambitions and interests. The duty of this era makes it imperative for all political powers, cultural and intellectual groups, in addition to all those interested in public work, to gather around a wide frame based on the essential pillars of this society. They, moreover, are to cooperate in what's agreed upon – which is, by of difference- which are little – for the best interest of this nation.

We believe that we raise Allah's call, which is the loftiest, call for the idea of Islam, which is the strongest, present the code of the noble Qur’an, the most just.. Allah Almighty says:

"(Our Sibghah (religion) is) the Sibghah (Religion) of Allah (Islam) and which Sibghah (religion) can be better than Allah's? and we are his worshippers. (Tafsir Ibn kathir)"

We believe the whole the whole world, in general, and we, in particular, is in dire need for this call and for anything that works for it and paves the way for it. It is only right to acknowledge that we have gone very far from the true path of Islam which urges us to adopt the useful, take the realms of wisdom if found as these are our targets. We stand no chance of achieving development in any field of our life unless we return to our religion, apply our Shariah (Islamic law), follow the path of science and modern technology and acquire as much knowledge as we can, in light of great religion’s basics and moving from its principles and values.

By this we seek Allah's blessing and satisfaction.

Mohamed Mehdi Akef

Chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood

Foundations & Starting Points

We, the Muslim Brotherhood, have a defined mission which we present as a basic concept for reform, out of our inherited right of serious and active participation in the Egyptian political life, being an important part of this free dignified people. This mission is represented collectively in working to establish Allah's Sharaih as we believe it to be the real effective way out of all sufferings and problems, both on the internal front and the external on - be these political, economic, social or cultural. This mission could be achieved through building the Muslim individual, Muslim family, Muslim government and the Muslim state that leads Islamic countries, gather all Muslims, regain Islamic glory, gives lost Muslim land back to its owners and carry the flag of the call to Allah, thus making the world happy via the teachings and right of Islam.

This is our target and this our method, as Muslim Brotherhood.

Therefore, our vision for enabling this reform is pivotal on three major foundations:

1-The nations essentials and values.

2-Givens of reality and conforming with circumstances.

3-Achieving the hopes of the peoples and ambitions of nation.

The frames of Muslim Brotherhood's initiative on the general principles of reform in Egypt are defined in the following main lines:

First: In the Field of Building the Egyptian Individual:

The Muslim Brotherhood believes man to be core of the globe. Allah created man and blew into him from his soul, ordered His angles to kneel down before him, taught him all names, subjected all creatures of heaven and picked His messengers from mankind to guide all humans to happiness and right.

Therefore, the happiness of man is the target of any development or progress. Man is also the method of achieving any development or progress. So, it is a must to approve anything that raises the human nature of man and enforces the characteristics that make him better than other creatures.

Faith with its pillars and bases, and good righteous manners are the loftiest man can enjoy as such traits awake conscience, thus preventing illicit and sinful deeds, stressing legal and righteous ones, making man not just carry out his duties but rather perfect them and sacrifice for his causes.

The Egyptian people is religious by nature. However, a cloud of negligence and selfishness has enveloped hearts lately and immediate desires and materialistic values have become dominant negatively affecting the sound Egyptian character. Therefore, it is imperative for any one who seeks reform to attempt the purification of this personality’s essence, rebuilding it, with a special focus on the younger generations, on a base of faith, straightforwardness and good manners. In the absence of this, reform will be futile or like building castles on sand.

Based on the above, in this field, we seek to achieve the following:

- Respect of the nation's foundations represented in believing in Allah, His Angels, Holy books, Messengers, the Hereafter and abiding by Allah's rule.

- Upbringing our children on the principles of faith and righteousness.

- Taking care of the family and protecting it as it is the society’s basic foundation.

- Freedom of call to explain the principles of Islam, its nature and features, most importantly the fact that it is comprehensive in organizing all walks of life.

- Urging people to be committed to worship, righteous behavior and dignified dealings, by all means.

- Filtering the mass media, removing all that contradicts the rulings of Islam and the givens of straight manners.

Second: In the Field of Political Reform:

We, Muslim Brotherhood, stress our commitment to the regime as a democratic, constitutional, parliamentarian, presidential one, in the framework of Islamic principles. We also believe in the individual's right to effective political participation as a cornerstone for the independence political decision locally and on the international level. Also, we believe in this nation's right to establishing international relations based on equality, human brotherhood, mutual respect of rights and national sovereignty, respect of international laws and conventions and stressing Peoples' right to self-determination. All these sides of comprehensive reform, and other sides as well, could not be achieved but through the application of democracy which we believe in and are committed to its bases. We call on parties and political powers to support our initiative as a national charter, containing the following items:

- The people is the source of all authorities. No individual, party, group or body is entitled to claim the right to be in power or to continue practicing power unless through sound, free pubic will.

- Power transfer through free general election.

- Freedom of individual believes.

- Freedom of practicing religious rites for all acknowledged Divine religions.

- Freedom of opinion, expressing it and peaceful call for it within the framework of the public system and general traditions and the basic foundations of society. Freedom of possession and using various media methods is necessary to achieve that.

- Freedom of establishing political parties no administrative front has the right to interfere to prevent or limit that freedom. Independent legal authority is the reference for deciding what goes against the public system and general traditions, the basic foundations of society or what is considered a violation of commitment to peaceful work, along with not resorting to violence or threatening to use it.

- Freedom of public mass meetings, the call for them and participating therein within the rules of social safety, non violation of the public security, using, or threatening to use, violence or carrying weapons.

- The right of peaceful demonstration.

- People representation through a freely elected parliament for a certain period following which elections are held again. It is imperative for election laws to include guarantees for its soundness, freedom and the impartiality of those handling it. There must be a belief that the sound system for running the country is the parliamentarian regime that makes the political party with the highest votes, in a free election, forms the government. Each citizen is entitled to participation in parliamentarian election, as long as he/she enjoys the general conditions set by the law to do so.

- Each citizen is entitled to be a member of parliament, as long as he/she enjoys the general conditions set by the law to do so.

- The army has to be excluded from politics to be dedicated for defending the country’s borders. The regime should not seek the army’s help-directly or indirectly – to impose its will and dominance or to threaten the prevention of public freedoms. The Minister of Defense has to a civil politician, like all other Ministers.

- The police and all security bodies of the state are civic jobs as stated by the constitution. Their mission must be limited to preserving the security of the state and society as a whole, not subjected to preserve the entity of government or taken as a tool to suppress the opposition. There must be a system governing their work and their leadership, especially preventing their interference in elections and public activities.

- Defining the powers of the Republic's President, making him a symbol for all Egyptians. He should not preside over any political party and should be completely away from the executive power. The Presidential term must be limited, not exceeding two terms.

- Canceling ill-reputed laws, especially the emergency law, formation of political parties' law, public prosecutor's law of practicing political rights, press law, syndicates' law and others of the likes that created a state of suppression and political stagnation hitting the Egyptian political life. These should be replaced to stress the citizens' freedom, dignity and right to participate in public activity.

- Releasing political detainees and reconsidering jail terms issued by military exceptional courts.

- Eliminating the phenomenon of torture inside police stations state security headquarters and applying the principle of (Police serve the people), in addition to limiting the role of political security in favor of criminal security and preserving the dignity of the Egyptian citizens.

- Aborting the laws that crippled serious work in professional and labor syndicates and adopting bills that lead to the rebirth of syndicates and union work in Egypt, in addition to raising the value of manual professions and creating the suitable atmosphere for them to political and social participation.

Third: In the fold of legal Reform:

The legal authority is the pivotal security of the society and the individuals. Its independence is an essential necessity to enable it to carry out its vital missions in establishing the society of justice and right. We believe legal reform to be a milestone of comprehensive reform. We think, it is represented in the following:

1- Guaranteeing the independence of the legal system, in all its degrees and measures, making every effort possible to keep it away any suspicions or doubts, in addition to respecting legal rulings, not playing around them. No one is to be tried but before his/her natural judge. All exceptional courts must be canceled. Military courts must be limited to felonies and offences by. Military personnel only.

2- Separating the investigation and prosecuting authorities. Prosecution must be independent, not under the thumb of the Minister of justice. Any one jailed pending investigation should be entitled to contest the prosecution’s decision before any legal body.

3- Changing the laws and purifying them to be in conformity with the principles of Islamic Shariah as it is the major source of legislation, under the second article of constitution.

Fourth: In the field of Electoral Reform:

- keeping the authorities and security forces away from all steps of the electoral process.

- Elections are to be handled and monitored by an electoral committee starting from (preparing) voters' lists, to running elections and counting votes judges should form such committee.

- Legal personnel should supervise the electoral process. The Higher legal Council should choose judges supervising all steps of elections without the interference of the Minister of justice.

- The committee is to decide on any obstacles to the election campaigning.

- All runners are entitled to all sorts of electoral campaigning; holding conferences, distributing electoral publications, holding marches, hanging fliers...etc.

Fifth: In the field of Economic Reform:

The Muslim Brotherhood believes in the economic system stemming from Islam as a religion and a complete, comprehensive way of life that stresses freedom of economic activity, individual role in that activity and respects multiple property which basically means private property, given that it shoulders social tasks. It also respects state property, such as utilities and vital establishments.

Based on the above, we work on encouraging the private sector through well-studied privatization programs, characterized by fair evaluation of public projects to be privatized, coupled with total transparency. This should in line with preserving the complete rights of laborers. We also believe in the necessity of establishing giant public, given thorough economic, funding and technical feasibility studies, doubled with a public participation in informing about them, studying and authorizing them.

The Muslim Brotherhood also believes in the necessity of cooperation with rest of world countries for the best interest of humanity. Therefore, we adopt the liberation of trade open door policy as major style in dealing with other countries, in light of mutual dependence and the revolution of information and communication. But we are against hegemony or subordination sought by the current globalization movement. So, we will work on enlarging the positive sides of general Agreement on Trade and Tariff (GATT) and World Trade Organization (WTO), and limiting their negative sides.

Based on the above, we think economic reform is built on the following:

- Legal money is considered the spine of life and must be preserved, but usury as a source of funding or profit must be banned and criminalized.

- Every able person must work to earn a living.

- Discovering the sources of natural riches and making use of them, in light of preserving the surrounding environment to achieve sustainable development.

- Respect of properties, especially public ones.

- Organizing financial dealings and accuracy of monetary affairs by following sound monetary, financial, tax, and development policies.

- Application of the social (security) system and helping the unemployed find suitable jobs.

- Stressing the state's responsibility to protect the economic system.

- Banning power abuse and illegal formation of fortunes.

According to these general principles, we basically believe in:

- Working to enlarge production, starting with necessities, then complementary products and accessories, through encouraging investments, granting facilities and exemptions to each level (of production), according to its importance. Food, clothing, and tools of production should top the list of highest exemptions.

- Economical consumption, in general, linking it to production and banning all forms of extravagance through:

- Reconsidering government spending, especially ceremonies, parties...etc.

- Monitoring of (government) supported goods to ensure the are received by those who deserve them, in a bid to rationalize process.

- Rationalizing the consumption of auxiliary and extravagant goods.

- Encouragement of saving by all possible means; for example

- Raising saving awareness among individuals and enlightening them with the rights of future generations.

- Deploying various ways of investment in legal fields, according to the priorities of production needs and consumption necessities.

- Using social funds in establishing small projects to be owned by workers.

- Finding a system for marketing the products of these projects internally and facilitating the measures of exporting to Arab, African and foreign markets.

- Linking small and meddle complementary industries with big industries to ensure their support, development and marketing of their products. Supporting the authority of quality control to ensure commitment to international standards as a guarantee for continuous marketing of the products, through:

- Encouraging Egyptian and Arab capital to invest in that field.

- Linking the educational policy to the plan of establishing these projects.

- Linking the policy of scientific research to solving the problems of this sector and developing it.

- Encouraging inventions in this field.

- Enabling a comprehensive and effective agricultural development, both horizontal and vertical, providing the necessary funding for modernizing the agricultural process, especially for small farmers, in addition to creating chances of cooperative marketing and supporting the requirements of agricultural production and developing agricultural manufacturing.

- Encouraging exports, supporting export industries and working on opening new markets, along with rationalizing imports without hindering the requirements of balanced development for the sectors of national economy and the basic needs of food stuff and medicines.

- Giving up dependence on foreign loans to fund the saving gap (difference between needed investment and national saving), via encouraging direct Arab and Islamic investment first, then that from the rest of the word.

- Toughening penalties for crimes of financial and economic corruption; such as deceiving, fraud, monopoly, power abuse, unlawfully seizing state lands or funds, tax evasion, commissions, bribes and all other forms of corruption.

Sixth: in the field of Education & Scientific Research:

Education and scientific research are both the means of any hoped for progress. Therefore, developed countries generously provide funding, training, preparation, establishing buildings, libraries, playgrounds, labs and apparatuses for their generations willing to learn. As we want catch up (with that kind of progress), we should care about education; teachers, curricula, and educational establishments. So we seek to achieve the following:

- Improving the conditions of teachers, both professionally and financially, in bid to enable teachers to live on their salaries, stop giving private lessons. This way, teachers can restore their social and literary standing and their past role as examples and educators for generations.

- Developing teaching curricula in the faculties of Education and Teachers' Institutes, providing continuous training programs to qualify a teacher loving his job and feeling how great it is.

- Raising the rate of funding allocated to education from the national income.

- Working seriously on treating the problem of illiteracy on a decisive and scientific way.

- Solidifying religious values, moral principles, lofty features and (the sense of) belonging to the nation.

- Focusing on physical and military training and equipping schools with playgrounds and sports' apparatuses.

- Following the system of regional education that provides students with information on their particular region and increases their ability to use its potential to the maximum.

- Developing curricula in a way that achieves Egyptian renaissance and preserves the Egyptian identity its cornerstones, in line with the foundations of the nation, its cultural personality and its civilized heritage, Taking due interest in modern sciences, such as computers and genetics.

- Raising the rate of funds allocated to scientific research.

- Liberating the fields of scientific research from the control of bureaucracy.

- Increasing scientific missions abroad.

- Providing dignified life and convenient material levels for scientific researchers.

- Providing scientific potentials; labs, libraries, apparatuses and chemicals.

- Accurate counting of finished scientific researches and studies, in a bid to implement them and studies, in bid to implement them to prevent repetition.

- Putting a plan for each research institute so as to encourage teamwork among workers and to establish complete scientific schools in various specializations.

- Increasing scientific experiences via conference and mutual visits among teachers and researchers at the internal and international levels.

- Linking scientific research to production and innovating the method of specialized research projects funded by production units.

- Solving the problems of society whether in the economic, social or educational fields through scientific research and doing away with ready made imported solutions that do not conform to our conditions.

Seventh: In the field of Al-Azhar Reform:

Al- Azhar is a unique institution worldwide that Allah bestowed on Egypt. It was established on the basis of studying, spreading and protecting the knowledge of Noble Qur'an, Shariah and Arabic language in Egypt Scholars from across the Muslim world have graduated there from and become the best ambassadors from Egypt to their peoples. In addition, Al-Azhar has played an historic, glorious role in raising the flag of jihad and leading Mujahideen to confront foreign occupiers targeting Egypt. It has also raised the sound of right in the face of unjust rulers and supported the needy and weak. All that made it a target for students from across the Islamic word, earned it the respect and sanctity of Muslims from Indonesia to Morocco. This makes it a duty on those who love Egypt and Islam to seek the support and strength of Al-Azhar, to grant it freedom of thought, movement and call, in addition to providing it with money and men capable of carrying out its responsibility and achieving its message.

Based on the above, we seek the following.

- wide establishment of kutabs (Qura'nic schools) and nurseries, focusing on memorizing the Noble Qur'an, parts of Prophetic tradition and learning righteous morals.

- Supporting Al-Azhar institutes with qualified honest teachers and applying up to-date curricula.

- Supporting Shariah colleges in a way that qualifies graduates for call (to Allah), teaching, issuing Fatwas (religious edicts) and jurisprudence.

- Giving due interest to Al-Azhar civil colleges in a bid to have physicians, engineers, accountants and callers that call for righteousness through their words and behavior, as originally targeted.

- Reformation of higher committee for scholars through election. The grand imam of Al-Azhar must be elected by members of scholars committee and the presidential decree must be limited to naming the one they choose.

- Returning Muslim Waqfs to an authority independent from the state's budget, spending their revenues for the purposes which were meant, especially Al-Azhar ratios and the salaries of its Sheikhs, scholars and students.

- Freedom of callers, Imams and preachers in explaining the principles of Islam, its Shariah, values and organization of peoples' lives and solving their problems, without interference from the administrative authority unless need arises from Islamic moral and teachings.

Eighth: In the Field of combating Poverty:

The phenomenon of poverty has spread in our society.

According to available statistics, more than 50% of the people are poor. Thus, we should seek a serious treatment of this phenomenon, via providing the basic foundations of a dignified life for our people, especially the poor and low income classes. These foundations include:

- Suitable house wherein the necessities of a dignified life (lights, pure water, sanitary and enough room for family members) are available.

- Balanced food at suitable prices and quantity and quality preserving sound body building.

- Suitable clothing that covers the body and preserves man's dignity and humanity.

- Medical services that provide real medical care (doctors and medicines) within the means of such classes.

- Real and free educational services that work on raising the cultural level of these classes.

Ninth: In the field of Social Reform:

The Muslim Brotherhood believes social peace and integrity to be necessary for any progress. This requires serious and continuous work to eliminate poverty and limit its effects. It also requires eliminating random (living) areas, fighting addiction and drugs, raising the (living) areas, fighting addiction and drugs, raising the (living) standard of marginalized classes and bridging the pap in distributing income and fortunes, via Zakat (Alms) institutions within a comprehensive Islamic system.

Therefore, we think social reform is represented in the following:

- Working to encourage the spirit of being religious in the society.

- Preserving public manners and enhancing the institutions of the social system.

- Supporting the institutions of civic society and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

- Family care especially women, youth and children.

- Combating crimes and corruption.

- Reviving the system of (Islamic) Reward (Hisbah), according to controls and terms set by the law.

- Establishing social justice and providing job opportunities.

- General health care.

- Reforming education.

- Organizing tourism, especially recreational, cultural and educational tourism.

- Preparing the unemployed professionally and providing them with suitable jobs.

- Preserving the entity of legal family as a base for society, a home for children and a suitable environment, a home for children and a suitable environment for upbringing, coupled with fighting attempts to break the family by propagating illegal relations in all their forms.

Tenth: In the field of women:

Woman represents half of the society. She is in charge of raising generations (men and women). No doubt then she deserves Paradise to be under her feet. She is a pure creature, dignified by Allah Almighty, when He says:

"and indeed we have honored the children of Adam."

She is a reasonable and sound creature that addressed by divine talk in Qur'an and prophetic tradition just like man. She is under obligation jus like him, bearing full legal and criminal responsibility just like him. Her financial status is not limited all her financial dealings and decisions are legal, without the consent of a father, a husband, a brother or any one else. The area of man's superiority over his wife is limited to issues of matrimonial partnership his wife is limited to issues of matrimonial partnership and it stems from loving, mercy and consultation, in return for responsibilities shouldered by man.

Therefore, we believe:

- Woman is entitled to participate in parliamentary elections and the likes.

- Women is entitled to be a member of parliament or the likes in a frame that preserves her decency, neutrality and dignity.

- Woman is entitled to hold pubic posts, except for (the post of) Grand Imam or presiding over the state, given our present conditions.

- Eliminating illiteracy spreading among women, especially in the countryside.

- Education curricula should include material conforming with woman's nature, role and needs.

- Preserving women everywhere; in means of transportation and work place.

Eleventh: In the Field of Coptic Brothers:

We assure that our position towards Coptic brothers is one of principle, stable and a duty on all Muslims, according to texts of noble Qur'an and Prophetic tradition, words and deeds. This position is summed in the following points:

- Copts are a part of the fabric of the Egyptian society. They are partners of the nation and destiny Our rights are theirs, our duties are theirs.

- Freedom of belief and worship for all is respected. Cooperation in that serves the society and is in the best interest of citizens is an obligation for all.

- Keenness on the brotherhood spirit that has been linking all Egyptians (Muslims and Copts) for centuries, spreading the foundations of love and harmony among them, so as to enable the nation to work comprehensively for building the future.

- Emphasizing national unity, not allowing any activity that leads to inciting feelings of religious sedition or ethnic fanaticism among Egyptians.

Twelfth: In the Cultural Field:

The Muslim Brotherhood believes in the necessity that our culture stems from its Islamic sources to develop the individual and society. This requires serious reform of the pillars and means of current culture from papers, magazines, radio and television, so as to establish its material and work on Islamic values and principles to educate the individual and deepen these values and principles into his spirit. This protects the individual from ignorance and westernization and does away with messing up with moral principles and falling into sins and trivialities. These media means must be strengthened to be able to face (the challenges of) open skies era, foreign satellite channels and high speed communications and information.

Based on the above, cultural reform, as see it, is represented in the following:

- Sound formation of the educational system to broaden the mid.

- Sound formation of printed, audio and visual media, to alleviate the feelings and deepens the sense of belonging.

- Freedom of (writing) books and supporting publishing.

- Encouraging forums, conference and exhibitions.

- Encouraging scientific and conference tourism.

- Reconsidering the role of the Higher council for Culture and Higher Council for Islamic Affairs and all other cultural institutions to guarantee the hoped for cultural reform.

- Rationalizing cinema and theater houses to be in conformity with Islam's principles and values.

Thirteenth: In the Field of foreign Policy:

There are circles of foreign policy work on which will achieve public interest. These are:

- Arab circle which requires. Supporting and activating the Arab league, activating the mechanisms of Arab work such as Arab Defense, joint Arab Market and Economic unity.

- African circle.. Egypt is African country, linked to the countries of Nile Basin and other African states with developments relations Egypt is keen on. On top of the list is the Sudan with which we have historic, strategic and economic relations that are highly important. Therefore, Sudan must be given great priority, especially in this stag, based on deliberations of great effects on the Egyptian and Arab national security.

- Islamic circle.. This is the belief circle, interest in which is represented in seeking the Islamic unity. This requires putting programs and mechanisms for opening up to the Islamic world, including Turkey, Iran, Malaysia and Indonesia.

- Finally comes the international circle: Egypt has several relations with world countries. She is also a member of the international family and organizations. Henceforth, she seeks the enforcement of international laws and conventions works on ridding the international organizations from the guardianship of superpowers. She also seeks adopting mechanisms for international stability on just basis.

Fourteenth: Most Important National Causes (Palestine& Iraq):

Moving from the pivotal and strategic role, the historic and cultural weight of Egypt, along with her responsibility towards its sisterly Arab and Muslim states and toward Islam and its causes, its causes, we would like to emphasize the following:

- Resistance against the Anglo-American and Zionist occupiers of Arab and Muslim lands is a legal right and a duty imposed (on people under occupation) by Islam and guaranteed by international laws and treaties. Arab and Muslim governments and peoples, Egypt on top of the list should extend a helping and supportive hand to Palestinian and Iraqi peoples till they overcome their crises.

- The Us project aims at kneeling down the Arab and Muslim nations, subjecting them to its cultural, social and economic dominance. It also aims at tearing our area apart and redrawing its map, in accordance with the interests of the US administration and the Zionist entity, on the one hand. On the other hand, it aims at threatening the stability of the region. This necessitates working on (reaching) solidarity and integration among Arab and Muslim countries, economically, culturally and militarily. Today’s world is one of big entities let alone the great challenges facing our nation

- The Zionist project aims-with the full support of the US administration – at finishing off the Palestinian resistance, breaking the will of the Palestinian people, establishing a fragile demilitarized non-sovereign Palestinian state aborting the refugees right to return (to their homes), expanding the establishment of racial colonies (including the separation wall), and making Jerusalem an eternal capital!!! Force being the only language the Zionist enemy grasps, the Muslim Brotherhood believes in the necessity of preserving the unity of Palestinian factions and that these factions do not subject the Palestinian people to facing the crimes of assassination, liquidation and barbaric massacres perpetrated by the Zionist enemy.

- As regards the Arab position, the Zionist enemy still seeks more normalization of relations with Arab states, establishing a Middle Eastern market for its products, in light of overwhelming military, scientific and technological superiority till its old dream of establishing (greater Israel), from the Nile to the Euphrates. Therefore, we think it imperative to stop all forms of normalization and relations with it, considering boycotting its products of US goods as the least to be done.

- Concerning Iraq, the Muslim Brotherhood stresses that by invading and occupying Iraq (and Afghanistan before), the US administration has attacked a brotherly Arab state and returned the world to the law of the jungle through challenging and going over international laws and conventions. So, the Brotherhood troops from Iraq immediately and leaving the Iraqi people to run their affairs on their own.

- The unity of the Iraq immediately and leaving the Iraqi people to run their affairs on their own.

- The unity of the Iraqi people is an issue related to the national security of the Arab and Muslim region. Based on this, preserving the unity of Shiites, Sunnis, Arabs and kurds, is a great duty that requires all Arab rulers and leaders to do their best to achieve.

- Threatening to strike Syria and Iran or other Arab regimes, along with threatening to export the Iraq of model to the rest of the Arab states as a means of intimidation, so as to submit to the demands of the US administration, is refused at all levels. This requires, working on giving peoples a role in making their present, determining a role in making their present, determining their destiny, returning their rights and awakening their wills, so as to be able to live up to the challenges and risks surrounding them.

These are the major lines of comprehensive, possible and hoped for reform in the various walks of our political, legal, social, economic and cultural life. They represent the minimum level required for developing our society, in bid for Egypt to resume its suitable position and to be able to play its role.

We ask Allah for this to be beneficial for our nation, make it purely for His sake and only Allah’s satisfaction and blessing we seek.

This initiative was declared at a press conference held in the Egyptian Press syndicate, Cairo.

Maa ashobani min hasanatin faminallah...wamaa ashobani min sayyiatin famin nafsi (segala yg baik tu dari Allah dan yg buruk tu dari diriku)

posted by scouser at 8:23 PM